From 29 August 2012 new mandatory minimum sentencing laws significantly increased the penalties for failing to stop as soon as reasonably practicable after being directed to do so by a police officer.
Mandatory sentencing was introduced as a response to dangerous police pursuits.
To be convicted the direction to stop has to be given by a police officer who is in a police motor vehicle.
What are the penalties?
The minimum fine is now $5,500.00 and there is a mandatory drivers licence disqualification of 2 years.
The maximum penalty is a fine of $22,000 or prison for 3 years.
Does the Magistrate have any other sentencing options besides a large fine?
Yes. A Magistrate can impose any of the following
· a probation order
· a community service order
· a prison sentence, including a suspended sentence or immediate parole
Is there any way I can keep my licence?
Also, a Magistrate can order an absolute discharge. This is very rare in these sorts of cases. Cases already decided in Queensland suggest that if a Magistrate orders an absolute discharge then a minimum 2 year disqualification is not automatic.
Are there alternative charges?
Yes, the charge of contravene direction or requirement under section 791 is a possible alternative charge. This offence has a maximum penalty of $4,400 and no mandatory licence disqualification.